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Author Topic: cycling tank using fishless method  (Read 4318 times)
Summer Time
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cycling tank using fishless method
« on: February 14, 2011, 08:37:50 PM »

I'm currently cycling a new tank, putting in a little fish food every day (enough for 2 small goldfish).  A lot of the food is sitting on the bottom of the tank and growing really fuzzy, like it's getting moldy.  Is this normal, how it's supposed to be?

Thanks
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fantailer
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 06:43:51 AM »

Do yuor fish eat the food? If theyre not eating all of it then I would try getting a snail they eat all of the leftover food. I'm not sure about the fuzzy stuff.
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Summer Time
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 07:14:30 AM »

There are no fish in there yet.
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Bel
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 08:13:25 AM »

Do you have any media you could use from the other tank?  I see a lot of people use that and it cycles a bit faster, you can usually put the fish straight in with the used media, as long as there is bb already in that.   

I didn't do the fishless cycle as you know so I'm not sure how the food would look honestly.  I have read on other sites that they use pure ammonia to cycle with, each site seems to have a different way of doing things.  I did read that the food would get moldy and could fowl up the water on a different forum.  But someone who has cycled this way would be better to answer you, sorry.  Undecided
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Summer Time
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 09:41:45 AM »

Thanks. This forum recommended using food to cycle with rather than ammonia, that's why I'm using food. I think if I use the pellets, they don't get mold but the floating food does, so I'll probably clean out the moldy stuff and continue a little while longer. I'm afraid the mold is going to grow nasty bacteria or parasites in my nice new tank.
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Bel
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2011, 09:58:58 AM »

That's what I had read about the food and mold,  I'm not sure how that works.

I read on another site that they suggested pee (your pee)! lol  I guess if you want free ammonia!  Main point is to create the ammonia that the fish would naturally be putting in there so that the whole cycle thing can start.  If you have any extra filters or rocks that you can take out of an established tank that is really a better choice IMO.  Or that Super-bac Aimee told me about.  I understand about not wanting to mess up anything on the new tank. 
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Bel
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 11:34:18 AM »

Did some extra reading on this.  I typed in cycling fish less and got lots of sites that told how they cycle without fish.  90% of these sites used the pure ammonia method, only one other site other than this one said anything about the food cycle process.  That other site said they had not tested the method themselves since the food does mold and can get some nasty bacteria in the tank.  I'm not saying it doesn't work or anything, just couldn't find that much about it elsewhere.  The fish stores could make a fortune if there were a product made for aquariums specifically that was the same as adding fish, people would feel more safe using this and it would help the ones like myself who didn't know you had another choice other than cycling with fish.  I'm sure its only time till this happens. 

Anyway, everywhere that I read said if you do have an already established aquarium to add the rocks, media, filters etc.  and this automatically establishes the cycle for you along with the current amount of fish that are in that tank.   As long as the bio-load is the same, no larger.  They said you could see a very small cycle spike but it would be very low and very short.  This can happen even when adding more fish to a cycled aquarium if you add too many at once.  You have to try to keep the bio-load and bb the same as it was is what was suggested.  This is all just information I have read from some experts and some experienced fish keepers.  I could not be certain if any of this is absolutely correct as I haven't done it myself yet. 
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Summer Time
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 12:46:33 PM »

It's great to hear your opinion. I've been reading tons of information on it too, and thought adding pure ammonia sounded dangerous, but now I think it may be safer than moldy food. I do have 2 established tanks as well, and was going to put some of the filter media in there, don't know what I'm waiting for. I should just do it.
Good thing ammonia is not expensive, I won't have to make my own.  Grin
Also, I only have two 2" goldfish, and comparing the amount of ammonia they will create to 75 gallons of water seems ridiculous. Seems like it would take forever for the ammonia to build up.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 12:52:18 PM by Summer Time » Logged
Bel
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 02:33:54 PM »

Those are going to be two VERY HAPPY goldfish, from 10g to 75g!  They won't know where to start exploring first.   Smiley

Everywhere that I read said if you can seed it that is best, same as you read I'm sure.  There you have the nitrates already in there so any ammonia/nitrites would be converted automatically.  Same as all the ones who do bare bottom tanks and just transfer their filters to start up a colony in a new tank, easy as pie I would think.  This may be what Goldfishluver did as well, maybe they will chime in and let us know.   Wink
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creamkiller
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 02:42:04 PM »

lol

this is how it works u put some food in a bag that water can flow though ( i use a frozen shrimp) the food will decay wait till your water has about 3-4 ppm of ammonia take the bag out. and then the cycle will start that easy
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fantailer
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2011, 07:36:48 PM »

Oh sorry! Lol! I flunk reading tests when that happens! Tongue  Cheesy
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Summer Time
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2011, 11:50:37 PM »

Too funny!!

Thanks to all of you for helping me out here.  This fish food method is not going to work for me, it's all turning moldy and I bought a turkey baster today to suck it all out of the aquarium.  Even the pellets are getting moldy, they just take longer.

I have some frozen brine shrimp that I can put in for a while, in a bag that water can flow thru, and that should get it going.  Then I'll remove the shrimp before it gets moldy and gross.

I'm thinking of putting my fish in Thursday night, along with decorations and a filter from my established 10-gallon tank, and keeping an eye on the cycling and if something spikes, I can either put in some Prime, or move them back into their 10-gallons.  UNLESS you all tell me that's a bad idea.

One of my fish is going thru a parasite treatment right now, (or it could be Black Spot which if it is, he's had this for almost a year, when I first brought him home).  Regardless, his treatment ends on Thursday so I thought it would be a good time to move both of them into the new tank.  UNLESS you all tell me that's a bad idea, too.

I think they will LOVE this new 75 gallon tank, too!  I can't wait to see their faces when they see it!!  I hope it goes smoothly.
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creamkiller
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 04:24:34 PM »

as long as your ammonia nitrate and nitrites are a zero go ahead u should see a high ammonia spike at about 3-5 day then it will fall
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Summer Time
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 11:03:37 PM »

I put them in the new tank last Thursday (2/17)!  I took out all the rotten food with a turkey baster, tested all 3 tank's water and the water all matched, and I put them into the new tank!

They are so cute and having a blast!  Swimming like crazy, playing in the bubbles and current, and instantly became friends with each other, as they had never met before.  I'm still testing the water frequently, and still need to move the bubble stones around to organize it better.

Before I put them in, I thought I had a slight reading of nitrates, but now I'm not sure.  If there is, it's very low.  I test the water every day or two, and no ammonia or nitrites, so I wonder if it cycled when I wasn't checking...  I didn't test for ammonia for about 10 days after setting it up, so maybe it cycled during that time period.  I started it with water and stones from an established tank.

They are just SO CUTE and happy!  So rewarding!!
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Nossie
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2011, 02:33:53 PM »

Are you adding any beneficial bacteria to your tank? Smiley It may be a good idea to do that for a few days in the start, just in case Wink
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Summer Time
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2011, 05:58:03 PM »

I added it every day during the first week.  This tank cycled very nicely, and water parameters are staying good. 

Yay!
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Nossie
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Re: cycling tank using fishless method
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2011, 09:29:48 AM »

AWESOME!! Congrats! Smiley
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